On Community, Care and Courage — and why change is not straight forward

8 min readDec 14, 2022


A speech from our Co-Founder Edda Kruse Rosset

Edda in the community kitchen in Kreuzberg where she grew up (photo by Adonis Kekidakis)

On November 1st, 2022, Edda held a speech during a community dinner hosted at Atelier Gardens, bringing together different students and colleagues from Kaospilot and Kaospilot+ Berlin, friends, partners, and many more people who have supported the community and the work we are doing in Berlin (and other places) around establishing alternative educational platforms seeking to truly and radically transform systems.

Edda decided to publish and share parts of that speech here, because, as she said “It feels like I touched my fingers on some essential things that evening and have been asked several times to share it. This is for you.”

I want to talk about #change

When I wrote these words a couple of days ago in October I wore only a little, because it was still so warm and that felt wrong. Berliners shortly after voted for a climate-neutral city by 2030, a victory! (Let‘s hope the city government responsively moves that citizen decision further as needed!)

But then, there are these days when I don’t believe that we can influence the immense shifts we are entangled in.

Who do I even think I am to ‚make change‘ happen?

One of my favorite authors Rebecca Solnit writes in her book ‚Hope in the Dark’:

„Change is rarely straight forward (…) sometimes it’s as complex as chaos theory and as slow as evolution. Even things that seem to happen suddenly arise from deep roots in the past or from long-dormant seeds. A young woman’s death triggers an uprising that inspires other uprisings, but the incident was a spark; the bonfire it lit was laid by activist networks and ideas about civil disobedience and by the deep desire for justice and freedom that exists everywhere.“

We indeed see it, again and again, one incident, one spark, an action, one post, and a repost, and suddenly there are many speaking up, and a movement begins.

Women, Life, Freedom
Women, Life, Freedom
Women, Life, Freedom

As I edit this speech in December, the first protesters are being executed in Iran for demanding a more just and free society after 3 months of protests. Resistance and upheaval far away are just as relevant nearby.

Living in a globalized world where my consumption habits and comfort standards affect daily life and future conditions on the other side of the globe. It takes courage to do something different and change habits and question my own comfort so, therefore:

I want to speak about #Courage

Because not only is it a virtue I live by and create Kaospilot+ Berlin from, it is one of the core virtues fostered at the Kaospilots, and one that I believe we need a lot of „being that we live in such a troubled world“.

It takes courage to stay engaged when a movement begins when something is shifting and alive, like in our own community at the moment, where needed conversations about our own culture, structure, decision-making, and organizing surface. It takes courage to get together and look at how to be together differently, anew.

Courage to get up in the morning, knowing that biodiversity loss is only one of the many consequences of humankind destroying its own habitat, as we seem to continue to ignore our interdependence with all other lifeforms.

Courage to continue running a small startup when inflation is beginning to affect our private spending.

Courage to speak up and stay seeking conversations when another trend is to cancel one another other for speaking our truths.

Courage to act and resist the growing right-wing movements across the globe, who seem to be so good at uniting behind a co-authored strong story of glorious nation-states, conservative family forms, and anti-feminist values.

Courage to not lose hope as access to abortions and the choice of people with uterus over their own bodies decrease, not to lose hope witnessing transphobia, racism, antisemitism …

Courage to not freak out when someone asks: Where will you go and be and who will you retreat with if a war breaks out?

I want to speak about #Community

My roots are in communities — I grew up in one in Kreuzberg.
In a community, we can show ourselves and be seen.
I experience the potential that enables individuals to carry themselves and their dreams into action when there is a community to be held by. This is why it is so meaningful for me to co-create and learn in a community with all the many people we are working and learning with at Kaospilot+ Berlin.
And like anything that is relational, it needs to be cared for.

So, I want to speak about #Care

Because I believe in a ‘care’volution’, where we care more than we compete. Where we don’t take each other for granted but constantly re-engage in the care work it takes to be in a relationship with one another.

Can we be carefully curious about each other, as Chené Swart maybe would say, allowing ourselves to be moved by others and be surprised instead of judging and assuming others?

Would you like to join me in practicing more to:
Care for ourselves
Care for one another
Care for the ecosystems we form and affect
Care for the communities we belong to
Care for the land
Care for life

Too often care is belittled and not valued enough. As we are entangled in patriarchal societies and structures where care work too often still lies in the female realm. We are so used to womxn providing care for their families out of love and duty that we get used to caring always being available, and we won’t have to pay much if anything for it.

Change always happens and we have a choice in how we participate in it (photo by Adonis Kekidakis).

I want to speak about being #Political

I refuse to believe the sentence „this is just how it has always been“. Everything changes all the time, and also policies and systems are malleable — and being political is to actively engage in the potential of shaping these systems that are the (human-made) conditions we are social within.

The political systems and also a majority of non-democracies making up the nation-states of this globe affect us, how democracies are designed affects us and though democracies have their flaws, isn’t this maybe, for now, the best option of a political system we have, where we can live and love without being oppressed or killed? (Mostly — if you don’t happen to be a womxn or queer or black or …)

And as our lives (and futures) are influenced by and intertwined with various political agendas why shouldn’t I shape them too, in return, those political spheres?

I want to speak about #Dying

Maybe our systems need to die
To regenerate
When we get stuck and trapped
Can we dare to take a leap
Into Creative Destruction
Letting Go
To renew
And rebirth what needs or wants to emerge?
It’s inherent in life’s processes
So how can we learn from it and how can we take care of and practice dying and rebirthing in our own lives, our communities, our organizations, and in our societies?

I want to speak about #Entanglement

We are alive together and we are entangled with each other.
And how we are together and practice differently with one another — it matters.

We are entangled with everything that touches upon power, privilege, advantage, access, ownership, diversity, inclusion, and equity — it’s all relation based and it is ours to deal with and look at.
So how do we want to be in relation together? What stories of us do we want to co-author?

With growing complexity, confusion, fear, sense of scarcity, it could be so easy to narrow our horizons and compete against each other.
Now is about reaching out to each other as we experience immense individual and collective discomforts and fears.

Now is about staying in conversations
Now is about staying with the trouble
Now is about staying in touch

I contain multitudes — I guess you do to
I am inherently paradoxical — I guess you are too
I am perfectly imperfect — I guess you are too
I am failing — I guess so do you
Therefore I think we are all to be celebrated

I want to talk about the #Poetic

Life is worth little to me without the poetic, beauty, the things that make us emotional, the flows of words and sensations, captured by either linguistics, sounds, or silence — mystical, spiritual, poetic, you name it, that thing that overwhelms and moves you so much your chest is pulling itself together.
And maybe, maybe, our bodies can release some tears, experience katharsis and let go for a moment of all that we make our bodies endure, because of how we are socialized, because of what we expect ourselves to be and perform.

And as Audre Lorde writes: „in the forefront of our move towards change, there is only poetry to hint at possibility made real“

I want to talk about #Dreaming

I dream of being more comfortable with paradox
I dream of a third space beyond the neither or
I dream of trans space
I dream of respect for margins
I dream of finding ease in movement and shifts
I dream of stillness
I dream of the end of capitalism

Sometimes when asked how I dream my life should look like I answer that I think I am living my dream: loved, trusted, heard, and supported, and mostly, co-creating something that is meaningful to me and others and trying to create a positive impact.

Finally, I want to talk about #Kaospilot

Because it is with this community, its education, and the building of our young small organization, that I learned to see and speak of myself as capable of making change happen.

Where I learned to create and practice together with others.
Where I began a practice of being finer with not knowing.
Where I learned to see from a systemic perspective, acknowledge complexity, explore more diverse forms of leadership, and design, hold and accompany change processes. It’s where I learned that

All that you touch
You change
All that you change
Changes You
Octavia Butler

And it’s where I learned that if I want to change a system
I need to change, too.

Thank you for reading these reflections and how it feels to be alive for me to be alive in these times. I wish you wonderful days of December, with stillness to sense yourself and the world. And space to regenerate — to stay in movement, resist and reshape together.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you want: edda@kaospilot.de




A school for leaders who are courageous, creative, and committed in their pursuit of making the world a better place. Learn more: www.kaospilotplus.com